Pre-Conference Workshop Day | January 22nd, 2020


Workshop A is sponsored by The Jackson Laboratory and led by Dr. Michael Brehm, Associate Professor, The Robert and Sandra Glass Term Chair in Diabetes, Diabetes Center of Excellence, Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

9.00am - 12.00pm

Utilize Humanized Mice for Your Immuno-Oncology Preclinical Research For Increased Translational Success

Understanding the interactions between human immune cells and tumors is paramount when devising treatment strategies that prevent tumor evasion of immune cells and improve cytotoxic responses.

In this workshop you will find:

  • Patient derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models recapitulate disease progression and respond to standard of care (SoC) and experimental therapies
  • Specialized, immunodeficient mouse models are efficiently reconstituted with functional human immune cells
  • Tumor-bearing, humanized NSG and NSG-SGM3 (Onco-Hu) mice are a new and valuable tool for immuno-oncology research

Rapid advances in therapeutic areas like cancer immunotherapy, has created a need for translational strategies to more effectively guide indication selection, understand mechanisms of resistance and identify biomarkers of response. 3D organoids have presented huge opportunities to bridge the in vitro and in vivo gap. Providing insights, beyond basic descriptors at the cellular level, these models are offering new insights signaling, microenvironments, and cell-type specific behavior.

This workshop this session will look to explore the technical advances in designing these models. It will cover how organoid systems are being further adapted towards applications within the basic and pharmaceutical setting through the use of transgenic and other editing technologies as well as strategies for overcoming remaining issues to use.

Discussions during this session will center on:

  • How to develop flexible strategies with organoid cultures to maximize predictability and translatability of early discoveries
  • Assessing the translational capability and remaining limitations of organoid cultures
  • Applications of organoids in understanding of disease biology, mechanisms to disease and opening up new avenues for the path to target
  • Cross comparative analyses of data generated in CRISPR/transgenically edited organoid systems to in vivo systems

Workshop Leader:

Michael Brehm, Ph.D.

Dr Michael Brehm, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
The Robert and Sandra Glass Term Chair in Diabetes, Diabetes Center of Excellence, Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School


12.30pm - 15.30pm

Problems of Animal Study Reproducibility & Their Solutions

According to a 2012 study published by Amgen researchers, 90% of the 50+ in vivo oncology studies were found to be irreproducible. Additionally, 95% of post-phase III clinical trial therapies in oncology have historically failed to receive regulatory approval due to a lack of demonstrated efficacy, not toxicity.

This underscores the dire need to critically examine our current standard animal study conduct processes to both identify the causes contributing to the poor animal study irreproducibility and implement meaningful and effective solutions. Over the last several years, questions and debates concerning the validity of the preclinical science data have resulted in multiple published reviews on the problem. The reasons for this “Crisis of Animal Study Irreproducibility” are manifold but there are also several potential solutions available to mitigate these problems as well.

In this workshop the following points will be discussed:

  • Factors contributing to the problem of animal study irreproducibility.
  • Publicly-available and online resources and practicallyapplicable concepts, such as the ARRIVE guidelines, PHISPS protocols, and the N3R Design Assistant.
  • First-hand experiences with a variety of in-house-built and commercially-available animal study workflow software applications and databases and their direct and indirect impacts on the problems contributing to animal study irreproducibility.
  • Hands-on exploration and learning about Studylog Animal Study Workflow Software in the context of solving problems, improving animal study reproducibility and faithfully preserving detailed study results for future access.

Researchers will walk away from the workshop with an understanding of the factors which contribute to poor animal study reproducibility. They will also learn about the application of the latest public online tools to mitigate reproducibility problems which will include learning about the benefits and challenges of home-built software and off-the-shelf animal study management technologies.

Attendees will also get to experience and see for themselves how animal study workflow software, such as Studylog v4, can help solve many of the problems of study reproducibility, while easily standardizing the processes of detailed study design planning and study conduct, making adherence to and oversight of procedures easier, facilitating faster, easier and more detailed data collection and documentation, standardizing animal welfare parameter monitoring, data analyses, report creation, task and
scheduling, as well as data preservation and access.

Workshop Leader:

Kimberly Aardelen (1)

Kimberly Aardalen
Scientific Technical Leader
Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

This workshop is sponsored by:



16.00pm - 19.00pm

The Immunological Components of the Tumor & the Roles they Play in Drug Efficacy & Toxicity

With more and more information about the immune system and cancer coming to light, keeping your insights accurate and up to date is becoming an increasing challenge. Join an experienced immunologist to refresh, improve and broaden your immunological and oncological knowledge.

This Workshop will go back to the immunological roots of immunotherapy, giving you the opportunity to discuss the following:

  • Cell Sub Types and how our current understanding indicates they’re involved in tumor response
  • A detailed breakdown of the immune response to cancer and how current therapies interact with the immune system
  • An exploration of the tumor microenvironment, including discussions on Tumor Associated Macrophages (TAMs) and others
  • A case-study guided look at immune-related toxicity, it’s signs and the protocols by which they are investigated clinically
Rosemary Akhurst

Rosemary Akhurst
University of California San Francisco


Sarah Gitto
Project Lead
University of Pennsylvania

Join us for our Evening Drinks Reception Hosted by Crown BioScience, Inc.

18.30 - 19.30